Setting individual goals

A discussion about goal setting is a way to help your patients connect their goals with the changes they can make for better weight management. Align with your patients on realistic and individualized goals as a first step toward creating sustainable long-term changes.1

Discussing goal setting

You may want to start by discussing the “big picture,” or the long-term, ultimate goals that your patients may have in mind. It can be helpful to refer to the responses to the Initial Questions about how weight affects medical, physical, emotional, and day-to-day well-being and their plans or goals for their lifestyle in the future.

Talk about the big picture

  • Ultimately, what do you want to achieve? If you think about the big picture of your life, what do you want it to look like? Health? Travel?
  • Do you have a certain amount of weight that you want to lose?
  • Considering your ultimate goals, we can work together to take the first steps toward what is realistic for you to achieve for health and weight.

Patient Steve


Also in Talking With Patients:


Related Information

Professional Education

Learn techniques that will enable you to have an effective consultation around weight with your patients.

Patient Materials

Explore materials to help get your patients started with weight management.


  1. Vallis M, Piccinini-Vallis H, Sharma AM, Freedhoff Y. Modified 5 As: Minimal intervention for obesity counseling in primary care. Can Fam Physician. 2013;59:27-31.